June 2018

Summer is a great time to get outside and be active – how many calories do you burn doing the things you love to do?! Get out there and get active!

When the weather is nice and you get the urge to go out and enjoy it you aren’t necessarily thinking about how many calories you’re burning while having fun.  However, if you do happen to be paying attention to it then here are some activities and the calories they burn (on average) to help you keep track:

(These numbers are the average calories burned and are based on a 150-pound individual doing 1 hour of activity)

  • Outdoor Yoga: 175
  • Mowing the Lawn: 350
  • Surfing: 175
  • Swimming: 350
  • Frisbee: 200
  • Hiking: 375
  • Gardening: 250
  • Rollerblading: 400
  • Canoeing/Kayaking: 250
  • Paddle Boarding: 400
  • Golf (no cart): 250
  • Tennis: 500
  • Biking: 300
  • Soccer: 500
  • Beach Volleyball: 300
  • Rock Climbing: 550

 

These figures are meant to give you an idea of what the caloric burn can be…actual calories burned are based on several factors including weight and how long the activity is done.  

Here is a good calculator to look up different activities and the calories they can burn:  

https://www.myfitnesspal.com/exercise/lookup

Also, there are many great websites to look up the calories for certain types of foods (and their portions) so you can also calculate what you’re eating.  When used correctly these tools can not only let you see what calories you’re consuming but also know how much and what movement you need to incorporate to burn those calories (and then some) to see weight loss.

Here are just a few calorie calculators that might help:

 

  1. https://www.myfitnesspal.com/
  2. https://caloriecontrol.org/healthy-weight-tool-kit/food-calorie-calculator/
  3. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlatePlan

 

As always, please review everything with your health care provider to make sure you’re able to safely do any outdoor activity and take precautions to not overheat.  Have fun and enjoy the great outdoors!

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With the sun beating down on your everyday learning how to protect and heal your skin from the sun will help your skin stay healthy and happy this summer!

Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors and all of the fun activities the warmer weather allows.  However, with the great weather comes the necessary precautions of avoiding sunburn, preventing heat exhaustion, and general Summer safety.  With a little bit of knowledge and due diligence, you can hopefully enjoy all Summer has to offer without suffering from any negative effects.

It seems pretty obvious that sunscreen is necessary when outside, but far too often people underestimate their risk in different situations.  For example, the sun is more intense and can burn you more quickly in the mountains due to your sheer proximity to it as well as burning you more on the water (the reflection of rays and all).  Here are 5 ways to protect yourself:

  1. Wear sunscreen every day, in all weather, and in every season.  It should be at least a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 and say “broad-spectrum” on the label…meaning it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.  Apply at least 15 minutes prior to going outside.
  2. Reapply sunscreen at least every 60 minutes; more often if you’re sweating or swimming.
  3. Wear wide-brimmed hats and long sleeve shirts and pants for the best coverage.
  4. Use sunglasses with total UV protection to protect your eyes from getting burned…yes, this is a thing!
  5. Avoid being out in the sun as much as possible from 10 am – 2 pm (the hottest part of the day when the sun is the most intense and likely to burn you).

Now if you have tried your best and still end up sunburned, there are some easy ways to treat your burn:

  1. Take a cool bath without soap or bubbles.  Adding baking soda (and air drying) helps relieve inflammation and itching.  You can also add apple cider or white vinegar as well (about 1 cup) since it’s a great astringent and soothes sunburn pain.
  2. Apply a “watery” type of moisturizer (not a heavy cream) to relieve the dryness.  Eucerin is a good example.
  3. Apply an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a damp cloth to your burned areas.  This will absorb some of the heat from your skin, constrict blood vessels, and reduce swelling.
  4. Hydrate from the inside out…with water AND food!  Think watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe.
  5. Try applying black tea bags to your face, eyelids, etc. for relief (soak in hot water, let cool, and apply).  You can also soak a clean cloth in milk with water and ice cubes and apply as a compress, mix cornstarch with water to make a paste, or apply plain yogurt to the burned areas then rinse off after a few minutes.  All of these items help to reduce the inflammation caused by the sunburn as well as ease the pain.
  6. Use Aloe Vera gel (directly from the plant is best) to soothe burned skin and help it to heal quickly.
  7. Resist the urge to peel!  Let the body keep its protective layer as long as possible to avoid any type of infection peeling might cause.
  8. Know when to call a doctor.  Some sunburns are just too severe to be treated at home so watch for the signs that signal it’s beyond your remedy:  nausea, chills, fever, faintness, extensive blistering, general weakness, patches of purple discoloration, or intense itching.  Also, be aware of the burn seems to be spreading…it could be infected.

You also need to be aware of any of the medications you might be taking make you more photosensitive (causing a severe reaction to UV rays).  Certain medications like antibiotics, tranquilizers, and antifungals can increase your sensitivity to the sun causing you to burn more quickly.  Oral contraceptives, diuretics, diabetes medications, and even PABA-containing sunscreens may also increase your sunburn risk. So the takeaway is…have fun in the sun but be aware of your personal situation and arm yourself with the knowledge that will allow you to enjoy the day without having to pay for it later.

 

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With temperatures rising it is important to know exactly how heat and humidity affect the body! Knowing and understanding this will help protect you and keep you safe!

Summer can be either dry or humid…or both…depending on where you live.  Either way, heat can negatively affect how the body functions if proper precautions aren’t taken.  Add humidity to the heat and the potential for dangerous results multiplies. Knowing how heat and humidity affect the body is critical to keeping you safe! 

Hot weather can obviously make you hot…that’s a given…but heat is also generated by the body when it’s active.  Three-Fourths of the energy we convert from physical activity turns into heat, only one-fourth into motion. When the body is active it usually generates more heat than it needs and has to release it somehow…this is when sweating occurs.  The body draws water from the bloodstream to make sweat that carries heat through pores and onto the skin surface where it evaporates and releases the heat…cooling the body. Staying hydrated is how this process works properly, cools you down, and keeps you safe when overheated.  

With temperatures rising it is important to know exactly how heat and humidity affect the body! Knowing and understanding this will help protect you and keep you safe!

Humidity is when there is an excessive amount of moisture in the air that prevents proper evaporation of sweat and keeps your body temperature high.  Once the air has too much moisture relative to the sweat you’re producing the sweat can’t evaporate and you remain too hot…along with being sticky. This is a dangerous situation that keeps your core temperature too hot and can lead to heat exhaustion.  You also lose water, salt, and electrolytes that the body needs to function.

So how can you combat heat and especially humidity so you aren’t suffering from the ill effects?  There are a few key things you can do if you notice you’re feeling overheated, fatigued, have a headache, increased pulse, and you can’t cool down:

  1. Seek shade and a cooler environment in extreme heat or overexertion  
  2. Go into a humidity controlled room (or one that’s cooled via central air) if humidity is leaving you feeling sticky and you can’t cool down
  3. ALWAYS drink plenty of water to stay properly hydrated (avoid alcohol and sugary juices)
  4. Use fans, cooling towels, wraps, clothing, etc. to maintain a proper core temperature
  5. Eat cool foods (cucumbers, watermelon, apples, etc.) and avoid warm or hot fare; eat vegetarian to avoid the energy expenditure that protein metabolism causes

 

Sometimes it’s not so easy to avoid overheating, but with a little bit of knowledge maybe you can avoid suffering when it does happen.  Always stay hydrated as the first line of defense against problems and plan ahead as much as possible to enjoy the warmer weather without issue.

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With summer here in full swing – finding healthy summer foods and recipes is crucial to helping you stay on track and working towards your goals of a healthier you! This guide will help you find the best choices and recipes this summer!

As the heat increases there always seems to be a shift in the way we eat and what sounds good for Summer dining versus Winter fare.  Certain foods are more available in each season which also dictates what we eat…and “how” we eat it. For example, corn in the Summer can be grilled or eaten cold in a bean, avocado, and corn salad…but in the Winter it’s usually just a warm side dish.  The same goes for proteins (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and fish), grilling reigns supreme in the Summer while frying, baking, and steaming top the list in Winter.

There are hundreds of delicious Summer recipes available from a variety of great websites to get you started:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/grilling/healthy/photos/fresh-healthy-summer-recipes

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/quick-healthy/quick-easy-summer-recipes

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/18026/seasonal/summer/

Regardless of what foods you like to eat in the Summer or how you like to prepare them, always keep in mind a few healthy rules:

 

  • Fresh Is Best:  opt for fresh fruits and vegetables you prepare yourself for the best nutritional value and to know exactly what you’re eating; if you eat an item as it appears in nature you’re doing it right!
  • Fresh Frozen is Okay Too:  many fruits and vegetables are “flash frozen” at their peak of freshness and it’s fine to use these in place of fresh items; canned usually has an overload of sugar & salt, so frozen is better than canned.
  • Select Lean Proteins:  choose lean beef and pork (no fat slabs and very little, if any, marbling), cut the fat from chicken and turkey (white meat is leaner than dark meat), and go for “white fish” varieties (cod, halibut, sea bass, etc., even shrimp) over fattier fish, except for salmon…the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial so mixing it in your menu once in a while is fine.
  • Watch out for Side Dishes:  with items like baked beans, potato salad, pasta salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, etc. it’s easy to load up your plate with a lot of fat and calories.  Try having grilled vegetables, light vegetable salads, and fruit while keeping the heavier creamy/sugary/fatty sides to a minimum.
  • Minimize Alcohol & Soda:  beer has the most calories (except for “light”, of course) and rum has the least…with vodka, tequila, and wine fall somewhere in the middle…but all can really add up and aren’t good sources of hydration in hot weather.  The same goes for soda…the calories are listed on the can/bottle and the sugar content is very high…even “diet” varieties aren’t good for you in general due to the problems many people have with artificial sweeteners. Try flavored “bubbly” water or even just plain water as better options.

 

Enjoy the Summer and eating what you love…even if it might not be that good for you all the time.  Just make most of your food selections from the healthy category and minimize the unhealthy foods and beverages to still feel satisfied while taking good care of yourself.

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Nothing slows down summer fun more than the dreaded summer cold! There are a few things you can do to ward off and avoid a summer cold altogether!

Even with the warmer weather Summer brings, a cold can get you regardless of how hard you try to avoid it.  The sneezing, runny nose, congestion and itchy or a sore throat are standard cold symptoms, but they’re also indicators of allergies.  So how do you tell the difference? A cold will also include things like coughing, sweating, and fever with symptoms usually appearing one at a time.  With allergies, all of them typically come on all at once. Allergies also tend to linger longer than a cold, but on average a Winter cold lasts about a week while a Summer one lingers.  So, how can you avoid a Summer cold, begin with? Well, maybe I can help with that.

 

First, and most importantly for all illness…take care of your immune system!  There are many ways you can do this: eat nutritious foods, avoid stress, and even take supplements that contain immune-boosting ingredients.  An easy way to help your immune system stay strong and run properly is to take probiotics regularly. Since nearly 75% of your immune system is located in your gut, it’s important to take care to keep the beneficial bacteria at proper levels so the body can fight off cold-causing germs.

 

Other important preventative measures include getting plenty of sleep, washing your hands well, and avoiding people who are sick…whether they have a cold or allergies.  These might seem like common sense things but they really are the best ways to keep from getting sick or making any allergies you’re suffering from worse, causing your immune system to work harder than it needs to.

 

Speaking of causing your immune system to work harder…something that many people don’t think about in the Summer is how often they transition from air conditioning to warm outdoor climates and then back to cooler air.  This temperature fluctuation can weaken the immune system as it’s constantly trying to cool then heat then cool the body again and again throughout the day cause germs to have a greater chance to make us sick. While you can’t always avoid these temperature fluctuations keep in mind the toll they take on you and be sure to be as healthy as you can to compensate.

 

If you do happen to get a cold there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies available that do a good job of easing symptoms and allowing your body to recover.  There are also many natural remedies that work great too:

  • Neti Pot
  • Humidifier or Diffuser
  • Decongesting Foods
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Vitamin C
  • Echinacea
  • Ginger Turmeric
  • Stay Hydrated & Rest

It’s never fun having Summer plans interrupted for a cold, but with a little bit of forethought, you can hopefully avoid getting one…or at least lessen its impact a little bit.  

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Coconut Oil seems to be amongst the coolest of the superfoods, after reviewing the many health benefits it is no surprise as to why!

Coconut oil seems to be on the lips of just about everyone you meet these days.  It’s being touted as useful for everything from a healthier cooking oil option and a super healthy fat, to a great make-up remover, hair and face moisturizer…not to mention the multiple health elements and weight loss benefits.  Coconut oil is everywhere, but is it really all that it’s hyped up to be? Actually…yes it is!

The healthy aspect of the coconut oil lies in the medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s).  These are healthy saturated fats that aren’t stored in significant amounts in the body…but instead go straight to the liver where they’re used as a quick source of energy or turned into ketones.  Ketones are an energy source that provides improved hormone balance, lowered inflammation, brain benefits, and weight loss. These MCT’s are the key to what makes coconut oil such a miraculous superfood.

The main thing about coconut oil (whether in the jar or in a capsule) is to be sure to pay attention to HOW it’s made and that the product only contains coconut.  There are keywords/phrases to look for when buying coconut oil…here they are and what they mean:

  • Cold Pressed:  the oils are “pressed” out of the coconut flesh (or meat) and no heat is used…this preserves the healthy MCT’s in the coconut oil.
  • Unrefined:  no chemical processing has been done to the “meat” of the coconut so the nutrients are preserved; also known as “virgin” or “pure” coconut oil.
  • Virgin:  used along with “unrefined” and meaning the same thing…that it has no chemical processing so nutrients are preserved; “virgin” & “extra virgin” mean the same thing when it comes to coconut oil.
  • Non-GMO/GMO-Free:  a “Genetically Modified Organism” refers to plants, animals, or other organisms whose genetic material has been changed in ways that do not occur naturally; GMO-free means the ingredients have not been created in a lab…they are natural.

Here are some of the multiple health benefits of using coconut oil…whether having a tablespoon or two of the “meat” or oil each day, cooking with it or in supplement form:

  1. Healing:  helps repair damaged tissues, assists with healthy liver function, and helps repair kidney issues
  2. Immune System:  enhances the immune system and supports a healthy body; antibacterial and anti-fungal
  3. Digestion:  promotes nutrient absorption, enhances metabolism, improves beneficial gut bacteria levels, and helps burn fat which aids in weight loss
  4. Diabetes:  helps control blood sugar levels and boosts insulin secretion
  5. Heart:  promotes a healthy heart and healthy blood pressure levels
  6. Head:  aids in reducing mental fatigue and boosting brain function
  7. Skin:  helps reduce wrinkles, sagging and dry, flaking skin; can be used as a make-up remover and moisturizer
  8. Hair:  helps reduce protein loss from hair while promoting healthy hair and scalp
  9. Bones & Teeth:  boosts bone strength and dental health

There are still calories in coconut oil and although the fats are beneficial they are still fats…so please check with your doctor to see if it’s okay for you to use.  Have fun with the many uses of this superfood…Enjoy!

If you, like many people, struggle with finding ways to consume coconut oil – try our coconut oil supplements!! They come in an easy to swallow gel cap that makes it easier than ever to get your coconut oil in!

 

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Why Your Liver Is Important Your liver has a lot of responsibility and is in charge of helping your body rid itself of harmful toxins! Taking care of it and making sure it is working will go a long way in improving your overall health!

The liver plays a central role in all metabolic processes in the body.  Its main job is to filter blood coming from the digestive tract before passing it to the rest of the body, but there are several important functions the liver performs:

–  Bile production and excretion (an important digestive liquid)

–  Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs

–  Metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates

–  Enzyme activation

–  Storage of glycogen (energy in the form of a sugar), vitamins, and minerals

–  Synthesis of plasma proteins, such as albumin, and clotting factors

–  Blood detoxification and purification

The liver is also the only organ in the body that can grow cells and regenerate itself.  It can be removed from the body, split in half, and transplanted into two different recipients.  Plus, a living person can donate a portion of their liver while having both portions regrow and function.  A healthy liver is important for many reasons and there are several things you can do (and not do) to protect it from damage so it can keep your body functioning properly:

 

  1. Eat a high fiber diet, including fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains
  2. Load up on healthy protein (vital for fighting infections and healing a damaged liver); include low fat or fat-free dairy, lean meats, and plant-based sources like beans, legumes, and lentils
  3. Avoid trans fats found in processed foods; opt for healthy fats found in nuts, seeds, flaxseeds, avocados, olive oil, and fatty fish
  4. Stay well hydrated
  5. Avoid consuming high amounts of salty and sugary foods
  6. Control your weight…avoid obesity
  7. Limit alcohol consumption
  8. Don’t abuse over-the-counter medications (especially acetaminophen)

 

There are a few common symptoms you might notice if your liver isn’t working well:

–  Chronic fatigue

–  Gastrointestinal issues (upset stomach, nausea, vomiting)

–  Decreased appetite

–  Dark colored urine

–  Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)

A liver detoxification is sometimes all that’s needed to clean out this important, multi-functional organ and get things running smoothly again.  There are many liver detox products and recipes out there, and some might be a bit too harsh for the average person. We have our Liver Detox formula that’s gentle enough for almost everyone, yet gets the job done.  The all natural ingredients help to cleanse and protect the liver so it can properly take care of you. Please be sure to check with your healthcare professional about your personal health situation and any medications you might be taking just to make sure all is clear for you to do any type of liver detoxification.  

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